September 2018 Issue of Insight


Looking Forward: Movin’ On Up

For nine years, EBAA has been fortunate to have Molly Georgakis as our Vice President of Member Services. In this role, she has served as an invaluable resource to me, to Patricia Aiken O’Neill before me, to countless Board and committee members, and to the profession as a whole. Unfortunately for us, we now have to share her – on October 30, Molly will assume the CEO role for the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO).

Throughout her tenure with EBAA, Molly has demonstrated an inherent understanding of our members’ needs and expectations. There are very few aspects of our operations that she has not had a direct impact upon, and she has been an essential resource to me on a daily basis.

Fortunately, we have a strong and capable staff that are ready to continue their own growth and development, and to build on the foundation Molly helped to lay. And since she gave me two months’ notice of her departure, we will have plenty of time to pick her brain and manage our transition to a new staff member.

This is a bittersweet development for EBAA; while the association will miss Molly personally and professionally, I believe that an employer’s obligation to its staff is to help them grow personally and professionally, and when that growth prepares them to take the next step in their development, to wish them the best and take pride in their future accomplishments. I have no doubt that Molly will make all of us proud to have worked with her.

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EBAA Fall Meetings


EBAA Fall Leadership Meeting: Complimentary Registration!

The 2018 Fall Leadership Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 25, at the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Registration for the EBAA meetings on October 26 is complimentary; anyone attending the Accreditation Board Meeting, the Medical Advisory Board Meeting, and/or the Board of Directors Meeting should register in advance. For more information and to register, click here.

2018 Medical Advisory Board Meeting: Listen in Real Time with the Live Audio Broadcast

The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 25 at 1 PM CST and will include discussion about suggested changes to the Medical Standards, issues concerning eye banking, and updates from various EBAA committees. If you are unable to travel to Chicago to attend the meeting in person, you can still listen to the conversation by registering for the live audio broadcast. CEBTs may earn up to 2 CEUs for attending the entire session. To register to listen to live audio broadcast from the comforts of your own eye bank, click here.

Cornea and Eye Banking Forum: NEW DETAILS ANNOUNCED!

There is less than a month left to register online for the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum. The Forum, jointly hosted by EBAA and the Cornea Society, will take place on October 26 at the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.

We are excited to announce new details about the two mini-symposia that will take place during the Forum. Here are brief descriptions of the featured sessions that you will not want to miss!

  • What I learned from my First 50 Cases
    • When deciding to perform a new procedure it is always helpful to learn from others and to learn what obstacles were faced with the first cases. During this session, three physicians will discuss various procedures and what they learned from their first 50 cases!
      • Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK)- Deepinder Dhaliwal, MD
      • Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK)- Peter Veldman, MD
      • Descemetorhexis Without Endothelial Keratoplasty (DWEK)- Mark Gorovoy, MD
  • Controversies in Eye Banking: Postkeratoplasty Fungal Infections
    • Every issue has two sides and in this lively session, debates on highly discussed topics around postkeratoplasty fungal infections will be encouraged and showcased. For each of the topics below a pro and con side of the argument will be presented.
      • Antifungal Supplementation of Donor Storage Media
        • Bennie Jeng, MD, and Gregory Grossman, PhD
      • Donor Rim Fungal Cultures
        • Jennifer Li, MD, and Mark Terry, MD
      • Response to a Donor Rim Fungal Culture
        • Kourtney Houser, MD, and Elmer Tu, MD

The Forum will also include the following:

  • The presentation of 26 scientific abstracts with dynamic Q&A session discussions with cornea and eye banking experts from around the world
  • The Paton Lecture presented by 2018 Paton Award Recipient, W. Barry Lee, MD
  • Best Paper of Session Award, supported by an unrestricted education grant from CorneaGen

With the presentation of all new information and research, this event continues to be a favorite among corneal surgeons and eye bankers. Don’t miss out on the cornea and eye banking event of the year; register today at the low online registration rates!

Medical Advisory Board (MAB) and Accreditation Board (AB) Call for Agenda Items

The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) and Accreditation Board (AB) have opened a call for agenda items for the Fall Leadership meetings. Guidelines for item submission can be found below.

Medical Advisory Board
Guidelines for submitting MAB agenda items:

  • All items must be submitted in writing to the Chair and Secretary of the MAB (Jennifer Li, MD and Eric Meinecke), no later than Friday, September 21, 2018.
  • Items submitted after the cut-off date will be deferred until the next meeting unless an exception is granted by the Chair.
  • Any recommended change to the Medical Standards must be accompanied by a draft of the new wording for the standard in question.
  • Introduction of additional items during the MAB meeting must be accompanied by a draft of the new wording for the standard in question and submitted to the Chair for review.

Accreditation Board
Guidelines for Submitting AB Agenda Items:

  • All items must be submitted in writing to the Accreditation Board Co-Chairs (Chris Stoeger and Christopher Ketcherside, MD), no later than Friday, October 5, 2018.
  • Items submitted after the cut-off date will be deferred until the next meeting unless an exception is granted by the Co-chairs.

If you have any questions about submitting agenda items for MAB or AB, please contact Jennifer DeMatteo.

33rd Annual Run for Vision 5K

Registration is open for the 33rd Annual Run for Vision 5K, to be held October 28 at Grant Park in Chicago! This annual run, sponsored by Bausch + Lomb, brings together ophthalmologists, eye bankers, donor family members and corneal transplant recipients for a scenic run around the lake in support of EBAA’s mission to restore sight.

The deadline to register online is Thursday, October 25. Onsite registration will take place in the Bausch + Lomb booth (#3026) at McCormick Place (2301 S Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd) between 9 am and 5 pm on Saturday, October 27. Register today!

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Eye Donation Month Is Your Chance to Shine in The Media

This coming November will be Eye Donation Month, which means that it is also an opportunity for many more people to learn about your Eye Bank through the local media. By giving interviews to local news stations, newspapers and online news outlets, you’ll be able to share the life-changing importance of eye donation, encourage more people to register as donors, and generate support for your Eye Bank.

And while that sounds like it might be hard to pull off, there are many tools and resources  you can download right from our website.

Step 1. Build a Media List.
Using websites of your local media outlets, and calling the outlets directly for more information, build a list of reporters and assignment editors that you want to reach.

At television stations, ask for:

  • Assignment editors
  • Producers
  • Guest Bookers

At newspapers ask for:

  • Health reporters
  • Health editors
  • Feature writers
  • Feature editors

At radio stations, ask for:

  • News editors

Step 2. Create a Media Advisory Specific to Your Eye Bank.
A media advisory is similar to a press release, but its’ purpose is to specifically draw attention to an upcoming event. It lists the times and relevant descriptions.

We’ve done most of the work for you! Download the template media advisory, and update the file with information specific to your market and region

Step 3. Create your “pitch.”
Draft an email that explains eye donations in general and Eye Donation Month. We’ve made the information easy to find. Choose from several different angles that are important to you: Myths vs. Facts About Eye Donation, The Power of You Stories, Cornea Transplant: From Donor to Recipient, New Technologies in Donation.

You may want to also focus on well-known donors and recipients in your market.

Step 4. Send your pitch and follow up.
Write your pitch letter in an email and include the media advisory. A day or so after you send it, you may want to call and ensure that it has been received if you have not heard back.

Hopefully, a newspaper or television story will want to talk to you, and possibly some recipients and donor families about the amazing gift of eye donation.

And if that happens, and you are excited – but nervous – don’t worry! The story of eye donation is one that carries special meaning, and the media will want to be careful to be accurate and respectful.

The best part is the attention and feedback you will receive once your story is seen by many, many people!

Good luck! And be sure to share any Eye Donation Month media coverage on EBAA’s website and use the hashtag #eyedonationmonth2018.
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Legislative and Regulatory Update


EBAA reported on recent legislative and regulatory developments in the September 4 issue of Focal Point, the association’s bi-weekly advocacy and legislative update.

For past issues, please visit the archive in the “Members Only” section of the website.
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Educational Programs, Seminars, and Events

Significantly Change Eye Banking and Corneal Transplantation with the EBAA High Impact Research Grant!

There is only one day left to apply for the new EBAA High Impact Research Grant. Beginning this year, EBAA will annually request applications on a specific topic and will select one proposal to fund at a significant amount. The new grant was established to make a larger impact on cornea and eye banking research.

This year, the committee is requesting proposals on “Maintaining Endothelial Viability During Tissue Processing and Transport” and will fund one project up to $50,000. The deadline to apply is September 14, 2018. Take advantage of this unique funding opportunity, and make your mark on eye banking by submitting an application today!

Three EBAA Webinars Open for Registration

There are three EBAA webinars currently open for registration. Knowledgeable speakers are lined up to discuss information sharing as well as tips for eye bank professionals who face grief and loss daily. Register today!

Information Sharing with Your Recovery Partners
Wednesday, September 19
2 PM Eastern

During this webinar, Andrea Crosson, CEBT, from SightLife and Lea Gralton, from LifeCenter Northwest, will talk about how to meet regulatory requirements while also effectively sharing information with the local OPO and tissue bank. The speakers will provide insight on the regulatory requirements that each organization must follow as they relate to information sharing. For more information and to register, click here.

Saving Sepsis: How to Rule Donors In
Thursday, October 18
2 PM Eastern

Making a determination about whether or not a donor was septic at the time of death can be a difficult task, but it is an important one. During this session, Dr. Beverly Forsyth, infectious disease specialist at Mount Sinai and Board Member of the Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration, will discuss sepsis and what eye banker professionals need to know and look for to determine whether or not a donor is eligible for donation. Following Dr. Forsyth’s presentation, two eye bank representatives will discuss tools and processes for screening donors for sepsis. Learn more about sepsis and what to consider when making a donor eligibility determination. For more information and to register, click here.

Grief and Loss in the Workplace
Wednesday, December 12
2 PM Eastern

Pam Albert, RN, BSN, CPTC, CBF from New England Donor Services, will identify grief and loss stressors that professionals may face on a daily basis. Pam will also discuss the differences between personal and professional grief and describe how cumulative stress can lead to compassion fatigue, burnout, and staff turnover. To learn how to best care for yourself and staff, click here.

Bring the 2019 Slit Lamp Microscopy Seminar to your Eye Bank!

EBAA is accepting proposals from member eye banks to host the 2019 Slit-Lamp Microscopy Seminar.

This small hands-on seminar will be a 2.5-day event designed to provide detailed instruction to beginning eye bank technicians on slit-lamp microscopy through lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on practice evaluating tissue using slit lamp microscopes.

A host eye bank is needed to provide the space, tissue and equipment for this small and unique event. The seminar will be held around September 2019. All proposals are due October 1, 2018. Submit a proposal today to host the event at your eye bank!

Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship in International Eye Banking: Currently Accepting Applications for 2019!

The 2019 Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship in International Eye Banking will bring an individual to the United States for 2 weeks in June 2019 to attend the 58th EBAA Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, and intern for one week at Lions Gift of Sight in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Established in 2001, the Mary Jane O’Neill Fellowship provides medical directors or technical personnel from the international community of eye banks with the skills necessary to develop, operate, and maintain a successful eye bank program – ultimately, reducing blindness around the world due to corneal disease or injury.

In 2018, EBAA brought Dr. Maya Alba from the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center Eye Bank in Israel to the US to attend the 57th Annual Meeting and to intern at Eversight in Chicago, Illinois. To read about Dr. Alab’s experience, click here.

If you know of any individuals from an international eye bank who could benefit from this Fellowship, please pass this information along. The deadline to apply is November 2.

CEBTs Who Expire in 2018: Submit Your Recertification Application by December 31

The individuals listed below are Certified Eye Bank Technicians (CEBTs) whose status will expire on December 31, 2018. If there is anyone on this list who is no longer in eye banking or who should not be on this list, please notify Genevieve Casaceli.

To view your CEUs online, log into Members’ Portal, click on the small arrow next to “My Information,” and select “My Professional Development” from the drop-down menu. To recertify as a CEBT, each individual must earn 16 CEUs during the three-year certification period, including attendance at two of the following: Medical Advisory Board Meeting, Technician Skills Workshop, Scientific Session (the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum or the summer Scientific Symposium), and the Medical Directors Symposium.

The deadline to recertify is December 31, 2018. To access the recertification application, click here.

Bahmann, Amber Gore, Patrick Mullins, Andrew
Ballout, Ameer Griffith, Melanie Nham, Linda
Beach, Joann Guerrero, Juan Penta, Jeff
Becirevic, Zuhdija Haile, Jason Phinney, Ruth
Bielli, Patricia Hancock, Andrea Puthiyadam, Sibi
Blaché, Millicent Hardy, Jason Quinn, Patrick
Bridges, Donna Harvell, Karen Quirk, Jim
Bruce, Kylie Hellier, Erik Ramirez, Fabiola
Bucuvalas, Alexander Hikes, Tucker Rangel, Edward
Buras, William Hussaini, Annam Raynore, Christopher
Capuzzo, Christopher Ingram, Austin Riordan, Nicole
Chai, Jie Johnson, Abigail Rodriguez, Sabrina
Christ, Michael Jordan, Richard Ross, Collin
Christy, Jason Kassay, Lori Schipper, Mikelanne
Ciment, Steve Kendall, Hortense Sibrian, Aneth
Conrick, Patrick Ketchen, Addam Steen, Kristin
Cooper, Christina Klein, Nicole Tan, Hsien-Kai
Crosson, Andrea Kraft, Tiffany Teves, Christopher
Cunningham, Susan Lanier, Christopher Thompson, Wesley
Dahl, Patricia Leimer, Adam Titus, Michael
Farrer, Rick Lewis, Linda Van Kirk, Keith
Fetzner, Holly Liang, Nai-Ning Vrba, Colleen
Fox, Carrie Lorentz, Holly Whitson, Dandi
Frank, Kendall Maxwell, Andrew Win’E, Troy
Garcia, Erica McArdle, Brian Yan, Ivan
Gestoso, Kimberly Michael, Misty Zanetti, Elisa
Giaraffa, Norma Miller, Ginger

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2019 Leonard Heise Award: Nominations Due Tomorrow!

Nominations for the 2019 Leonard Heise Award are due tomorrow.  The Leonard Heise Award is presented annually to a non-physician eye banker in recognition of outstanding devotion and service to EBAA’s mission and development. The deadline to nominate someone for this award is Friday, September 14, 2018.

If you know of an eye banker who has made a tremendous impact on the eye banking community and the restoration of sight, nominate that person today. To submit a nomination for the Heise Award, click here.

R. Townley Paton Society: Complimentary Memberships Renewals Due by September 28!

EBAA is proud to once again offer each member eye bank one complimentary R. Townley Paton Society Membership for the organization’s Medical Director. The Paton Society Membership term is January 1 through December 31 of each calendar year and provides corneal surgeons a wide variety of benefits. On September 5, Genevieve Casaceli began reaching out to Executive Directors to confirm the Medical Director who should receive the complimentary membership for the 2019 membership year. If you are the eye bank Executive Director or CEO, please confirm your Medical Director’s complimentary membership by September 28. If you have any questions, please contact Genevieve Casaceli.

Visit the Eye Donation Month online store today!

Show your support for Eye Donation Month this November on your chest, on your desk, or while you drink your coffee!  You can now purchase exclusive Eye Donation Month merchandise and giveaways by visiting our online store where you will find a wide-range of items including t-shirts, tote bags, pens, and more! Visit the store today at #eyedonationmonth2018

Eye Bank News

  • Nevada Donor Network has promoted Jacquelyn Warn to Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs.
  • As of August 24, 2018, Lauren Buckley has been appointed as the Tissue Bank Director for KeraLink – New England.

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Upcoming Events

September Webinar: Information Sharing with Your Recovery Partners
September 19, 2018
2 PM Eastern

EBAA Quality Assurance Seminar
September 27 – 28, 2018
Hotel Valencia Riverwalk San Antonio
San Antonio, TX

AATB Annual Meeting
October 9 – 12, 2018
Dallas, TX

October Webinar: Saving Sepsis: How to Rule Donors In
October 18, 2018
2pm Eastern

Fall Leadership Meeting
October 25, 2018
Westin Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL

Cornea and Eye Banking Forum
October 26, 2018
Westin Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL

American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting
October 27 – 30, 2018
Chicago, IL

33rd Annual Run for Vision 5K
October 28, 2018
Chicago, IL

Eye Donation Month
(Formerly National Eye Donor Month)
November 2018

December Webinar: Grief and Loss in the Workplace
December 12, 2018
2 PM Eastern

58th Annual Meeting
June 5 – 8, 2019
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Scottsdale, AZ
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